We haven’t had a tasting note yet, so I figured it was time to get one on the site. FYI, most tasting notes follow a basic pattern. You describe the Appearance, Smell, Taste, Mouthfeel, and Drinkability of the beer. Here at Aleheads, we might throw a few extra tidbits in as well…mostly because our tasting notes are woefully amateurish.
I knew very little about Moylan’s before sampling their Hopsickle. The brewpub is located in Novato, California…roughly halfway between San Francisco and Napa. It’s a beautiful area and I suspect owning a brewpub there is about as good as life gets. The brewmaster, Brendan Moylan, cut his teeth at the Marin Brewing Company in Larkspur which is a local favorite in the Bay Area. His bona fides were bonafide…but how was his greatest creation?
In a word: Outstanding. The Hopsickle calls itself the “hoppiest beer on earth” and I really can’t argue. It’s considered an Imperial IPA, but really, there’s no point in associating it with any particular style. It’s a pint of liquid hops. Every sip is met with a grimace, a head shake, and a “Damn…that’s hoppy.” I was fortunate to have this brew on draft thanks to my local tap-minder who recommended it to me. She gave me fair warning beforehand, but it wasn’t fair enough.
The beer poured a hazy orange with a minimal head and the aroma hit me before the glass was even set down. It’s just a huge, floral smell like you’re burying your head in a bouquet of lilacs doused in citric acid. The taste is more balanced than I expected…in that I’m sure there was a flavor there other then hoppy hopness. But I could have been mistaken. Might have just been the residual flavor from that bean I ate. The mouthfeel was…look, I’ll be honest, beers this hoppy don’t have a mouthfeel other than “puckering”, so I’m just going to say the mouthfeel was “wet”. As for drinkability, you’re probably not having more than one of these things…unless you want your face to cave into itself as the hop flavor forms a black hole of bitterness in your sphenoid sinus.
Despite the extreme nature of the beer, I thought it was absolutely remarkable and well deserving of a ranking of 3.5 Hops. It may have been a one note brew, but that one note was shockingly good. I can’t recommend the Hopsickle highly enough…unless you don’t like hops. If that’s the case, this beer might kill you.